him to the ground. The whole band, astonished at this attack, rushed forward to save their chief, without paying attention to their prisoner, who seized the opportunity to escape. The servant fled immediately with the body of the brigands after him ; but his activity enabled him to distance them, and he too escaped. The brigands, however, have sworn to spare neither master nor man, and they are now confined within the walls of Agropoli. The gloom of evening had now settled on the valleys below, and I saw that the sun was almost touching the horizon; and however unwilling I was to depart, I had no alternative, as the twilight in this part of the world is of short duration. My guide pressed me to return to the village where he resided, and he promised to find me lodgings. This did not suit me, as I did not wish to add unnecessarily to the fatigues of my journey by retracing my steps. I saw a village at the foot of the hill, towards which there was a pretty easy descent, and I thought it better to take my chance of finding lodgings there. I parted from my guide, and made a hurried descent, knowing, that before I could reach it, evening would already have set in. The appearance of the houses augured ill for my night's rest, though I had no doubt that I should find some shelter. I lost no time in putting an end to my doubts, entering the first open door that I reached, and causing great consternation to two old women, who were the only occupants. I had some difficulty in making my wishes understood, when an objection was started, which had never occurred to me. It appears that there is a law which forbids any one, under a severe penalty, from receiving a stranger in his house for the night without the permission of the magistrate, and it happened that this village was in union with another two miles distant, and there the magistrate resided. It was vain to argue that I was exhausted by fatigue, and that I could || go no farther. What a contrast to our own happy country, and how little we think of this I saw I must yield to necessity, and walk off a couple of miles to the village, which I found to be called Porcile. It was now quite dark, and I should have had some difficulty in finding my way, if I had not fallen in with a man who was going to the same place. I entered into conversation with him, and his head was evidently full of Carbonari, to whom he seemed determined to believe that I belonged. It | is a society united by sacred bonds to overturn their present form of government, and to introduce the constitutional principle. I wish them every success, but I am not here with the view of taking any part in their proceedings. At last we reached Porcile, and I requested my companion to point out the house of the syndic, or chief magistrate of the village. I made my wants known to him, produced my passport, and stated that I wished to pass the night in the village if I could procure a bed. He told me that, if my passport was approved of by the head of the police, he would give me a bed, and he was civil enough to accompany me to that officer, whom we found seated at a large table, with a quantity of papers before him. The room was but dimly lighted by two lamps; but while he was examining my passport I threw my eyes over the apartment, and observing a picture, evidently executed by a young artist, I remarked that it was a creditable performance. It was a casual observation, but it touched on a secret spring, and cleared away any difficulties that he | might have been inclined to throw in my way. It turned out to be a painting executed by his only son, and of whose talents as an artist his

father was evidently proud. My passport was at once declared en régle, and the syndic very kindly offered to furnish me with a bed in his own house. The character of the Lucanians for hospitality has in no way degenerated from early times. AElian (Var. Hist, iv. 1) tells us that there was a law that if a stranger arrived at sunset, with a desire to spend the night, and was refused, the party should be fined for his inhospitality. Of course this offer was highly acceptable, and yet if I had known the fatigues I should have to undergo through politeness, I should have requested to be shown to the locanda. My arrival soon became lonown to the whole village of Porcile, and the syndic’s house—palazzo as they call it, for every respectable edifice is here dignified with the title of palace—was soon crowded by the principal inhabitants of the village. It was amusing to find myself become a person of such importance, but I would have willingly foregone all my new-born dignity for the quietness of my bed-chamber. The apartment into which I was introduced was of considerable size, and had evidently been in former times rather elegantly furnished, though the dust of age had now given it a dingy hue. The chairs were of that old-fashioned form which leads us back to the time of Elizabeth, and had been richly gilded. Their covers were of faded satin. The walls of the room were hung round with paintings of the ancestors of my host, but the light was not sufficient to enable me to decide whether they possessed any value as works of art. I find that it is by no means uncommon to have a bed even in their reception-rooms, and it was so


I carried my politeness as far as my strength would allow. At last, however, I could bear my chair no longer, and I requested permission to recline on the couch. While I was resting they brought for my examination a variety of coins and cameos, of which some seemed to be of considerable value. They talked very highly of a marble statue which was in their church, and they prevailed on me to accompany them to look at it. It had no pretensions, however, to antiquity, being evidently the production of an inferior artist; but they had no tradition in what way it had come into their possession, or at all events the priests did not choose that I should become acquainted with its history. After a delay, which appeared to me endless, supper was announced and we proceeded into another apartment, where I found the lady of the house, rather advanced in years, ready to receive me. I scanned with curious eye the appearance of the supper-table, which was groaning under a load of provisions. It showed that they were behind us in two articles —table-linen and earthenware. Their manufactory of tablecloths has not advanced beyond the very coarsest material, and the plates were of a rude, ungainly appearance. Silver forks and old silver-handled knives in great quantities proved the wealth of the family. The centre of the table was furnished with a dish of excellent salad—a great luxury in this climate. Then we had a roasted kid, rabbits, and what they called gelatine di porco, and insalata di capretto, swimming in oil. Celery and beans closed the repast. The wine was of excellent vintage, and there was a simplicity and homeliness which showed that they were truly happy to receive a stranger from a distant land at their hospitable board. At last, however, we parted, and I was not sorry to stretch my wearied limbs on my couch.


I BEGIN to be alarmed respecting the result of my journey, as I have three times met one of those omens which the Italians consider of dire import. You will laugh when I tell you that this is the third morning that I have had a priest in his canonicals crossing my path, but I assure you that the people of this country look upon such an event as “no canny.” Why they should regard the priest in this light, to whom they are so subservient, I know not, yet such is the case. I had a clean and comfortable bed, a luxury of no common occurrence unless you are received by a private family, and I rose in good spirits, ready to encounter the fatigues of another day's pleasure. The breakfast of the Italians is light—a cup of coffee generally, with a glass of a kind of liqueur, called rosolio, made from the fig; this was served up to-day, and shortly after sunrise I bade my host adieu, with a thousand thanks for the hospitality with which I had been received. Nothing could exceed the kindness of the whole family; and when my host learned that I intended to examine the ruins of the ancient city of Velia, he gave me a letter to a friend, Don Ervasio Passaro, who resided in its vicinity. The younger part of the family accompanied me about a mile out of the village, and we parted with great regret. Before leaving the village I paid a visit to the priest Pietro Zammarella, who has collected a small museum of antiquities, coins, cameos, and seals. There was a seal more particularly which had been found at Baiae, and which was the nearest approach to printing that I had seen. The letters were raised as in our type, and when covered with ink gave the name as distinctly as it is now seen on this paper.” This means, no doubt (Sigillum), Sex(ti) Pompo(nii) S EX P O N/ P 0 Valentis, “the seal of Sextus Pomponius Valens.” The only Sextus Pomponius who is menV A L E N T | S tioned in history is a celebrated - jurist, some of whose works have been preserved. If we could imagine that this was the seal of the jurist, it would be a valuable possession, but we do not know that his cognomen was Valens. The family of Valens came into notice in the imperial period, and from the reign of Augustus we find several of some celebrity. None of them, however, have the names Sextus Pomponius, to whom this seal had belonged. One of the principal generals of the Emperor Vitellius in A.D. 69 was Fabius Valens, whose character is drawn in the blackest

* The engraving is a fac-simile of the impression I took from the seal with ink in my note-book, and I have never seen a more close resemblance to our type. It may be considered as the first specimen of printing that is known.

characters by Tacitus. In the royal museum at Naples I recollect seeing an inscription rather remarkable, as it is in both Greek and Latin. It was found near Misenum, close to Baiae, and on it is found the name Val. Valens, commander (praefectus) of the fleet at Misenum, the same office that was held by the Elder Pliny, when he fell a victim to the eruption of Vesuvius, A.D.79. The small valley through which I now continued my journey was beautifully wooded; the common oak, the quercus of the ancients, the dark ever-green ilex, plane-trees interspersed with the elm, were everywhere around. The vine was trained up the elm in graceful festoons, {. with the exception of a few patches here and there, man had left the country in a state of nature. The first village to which I came was Acquavella, which had the appearance of being entirely deserted. The inhabitants were nowhere to be seen, while it swarmed with dogs, who commenced a fierce attack, and whom I kept at bay as well as I could with my umbrella, roaring lustily for assistance. This brought out several of the peasants, and I was saved from the fate of Actaeon. On reaching a small square in front of their church, I found a large party seated, and as I wished to visit Torricelle, where I was told last night I should find some ancient remains, I proposed that one of them should accompany me as guide; but they all refused with the exception of a poor boy, who volunteered his services, and with him I started. Our way lay up a hill, and when I had nearly reached the summit, I was sadly startled to observe a party of men rushing after me at a very hurried pace. It was quite vain to attempt to elude them in a country of the topography of which I knew nothing, and I thought it best to show no symptoms of alarm. I kept advancing at my usual pace, and in a few minutes two of them came abreast of me, with whom I entered into conversation, though feeling not much at my ease. I told them the object I had in view, and I was soon satisfied that they had followed from mere curiosity. They seemed, however, to imagine that I had some other object than that which I professed, and they continued to pester me with their impertinent inquiries. They gave me some further information respecting the brigands of Monteforte, which did not encourage me to place myself in their power. Two days ago they seized two of the rural police, and as yet no tidings have been heard of them. They are a comitiva, as they called them—that is, a band of five brothers, who have continued for fourteen years the torment of this part of the country. The Baron of St. Magno was carried off some time ago, and had to pay two thousand ducats—about 400l.—before he was released. It seems that they now wish to leave the kingdom with their plunder, but the government refuses to enter into any terms with them. We passed some appearance of a sepulchre, and they told me that there was a tradition that some gigantic bones had been discovered in it, with a number of coins. At last we reached the edge of the ridge and looked down upon a level plain, about a mile in breadth, through which I observed a river to flow in a sluggish stream; and this I knew to be called Alento, the ancient Heles, called by Cicero nobilem amnem, “a noble river.” The descent from this ridge was in one part somewhat precipitous, and there a baronial castle had once stood, now in ruins. There were some very aged chestnut-trees growing in its court-yard and in one of its towers, which proved that some centuries had elapsed since it had been inhabited. The plain below was of a marshy character from the overflowing of the river, and this is believed to be the origin of the ancient name of the river Heles, from the Greek "EAm, “marshes.” Its exhalations render all the villages within several miles particularly unhealthy. I saw not a patch of cultivation so far as the eye could reach, though I was told that many years ago an attempt had been made to introduce the cultivation of rice, which produced such disease among the inhabitants that four thousand of them were cut off. At present this plain, which I have no doubt might be brought under cultivation, is entirely barren. I had at first intended to return to Acquavella, which my companions urged very strongly upon me; as, however, it would add several miles to my journey, I determined to descend into the valley of the Alento, and thread my way as I best could towards its mouth, in the vicinity of which were the ruins of the ancient city of Velia. I found my descent far less easy than I had expected, though I at last succeeded in getting rid of the brushwood; and on attempting to cross to the channel of the river, I came upon a small footpath, along which I proceeded. Sauntering thus carelessly along, I found myself suddenly in the midst of a party of men who were reclining on the ground. They were fully armed, and I imagined that I had fallen into the lions' den. They were equally astonished at my appearance, and all started to their feet without an instant's delay. They were sad eut-throat-looking fellows; I should not, however, have felt so much alarmed if I had not come so suddenly upon them. There were large patches of brushwood in different parts of the plain, and it was on turning a corner that I lighted in the midst of them. I did not pause a moment; merely saluting them, I continued to walk forward, though I fully expected to hear a halt called, though not a syllable was uttered by any of the party, even my salute being unacknowledged. As soon as I was hid by a clump of brushwood, I confess that I hurried on somewhat more rapidly than was quite consistent with the bold front I had assumed in their presence. It was very much in the sauve qui peut style, and I did not stop, except to throw a hurried glance behind me, till I had put a considerable space between me and the cause of my terror. At last I reached a road, which was, no doubt, that along which I should have passed if I had returned to Acquavella, and here I met a small party of women who were returning from labouring in the fields. If they formed a good specimen of the fair ladies of the valley of Alento, they have little to boast of in respect to beauty. Several of them were evidently young, but exposure to the sun's rays and constant labour had wrinkled their foreheads, and given them an appearance of age, to which their years did not entitle them. The climate of Italy brings them naturally to early maturity, and at twenty the bloom of youth is nearly gone. Of course in the higher classes their personal charms last somewhat longer; yet, as they take little exercise, they are apt in a few years to become stout, and lose the elasticity and joyousness of youth. Behind these women followed two oxen, one of which carried the inverted plough, reminding me of the allusion in Virgil (Ecl. ii. 66):

Aratra jugo referunt suspensa juvenci. The oxen bring back the plough suspended from the yoke. This plough was of very slight form, and used in some light sandy

soil on the declivities of the hills. In ancient times, the plough turned upside down used to be dragged home with its tail and handle over the

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